Artemis GKITAKOU, Research Assistant of Erasmus MC with main interests in life style and bone health..
Here, you can find her experience from participating in the GEMSTONE Mobility project:
My STSM experience started on the 26th of September and ended on the 14th of October. I traveled to Belgrade, and I collaborated with Prof. Dr. Ivan Soldatovic at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Medicine. The title of my STSM was “Mapping expertise and data availability in GEMSTONE”.
It was a very pleasant and helpful experience where, fortunately, I was able to carry out all the planned activities and finalize all my goals regarding this STSM with the help of Dr. Soldatovic. The aim of this STSM was to conduct the new GEMSTONE survey. More specifically, this STSM focused on updating and upgrading the last GEMSTONE survey. The main goal of this survey is to map people, expertise, skills, and data availability within the GEMSTONE network. I had several meetings and discussions with Dr. Soldatovic regarding the optimization of the survey. It seems easy to create a survey, but in reality, you need experience and a lot of effort. To my surprise, it is difficult to think and optimize the types of questions and the given answers. Because the questions and answers need to cover a variety of information, but the participants need to spend less than 10 minutes on the survey. In addition, there is a need to have an automatic system of updating the database after new entries, so it is not possible to have many open-type questions. Additionally, we used a new tool for building a survey, which is very efficient and can be used for several purposes.
During this STSM, I acquired a lot of new knowledge and skills that will be useful for my later career. I also had the chance to meet other professors from other departments at the university and expand my network. It was very interesting to discuss several topics regarding research with different professors with different expertise. Dr. Soldatovic was very hospitable. I was working in his office during this STSM. He showed me the university, and he introduced me to his colleagues and students.
Of course, this STSM also gave me the opportunity to meet a new city! In my spare time, I was a tourist in Belgrade. I visited several museums, with my favorite being the Tesla Museum, which provided an interactive tour! The weather was on my side because it was still sunny and warm, despite the fact that it was the middle of autumn. It was a pleasure to walk on the busy streets, especially to Skadarlija, a beautiful street with live traditional music. Another exceptional location was the Belgrade Fortress. It is incredible to visit, especially at night, when you can see the whole capital under the city lights. Finally, yet importantly, the food there was one of the best that I have tried! I tried all the famous domestic dishes, with my favorites being karađorđeva, pljesjavica, and ćevapčići.
Altogether, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience this STSM through GEMSTONE. This STSM not only helped me to hone my skills, but also helped me to gain new knowledge, meet several experts, and obtain more insight into several topics. I am deeply thankful to Dr. Soldatovic for his hospitality, the interesting conversations we had, and for sharing his knowledge with me.
Now I am excited to wait for the results of this survey, conclude them and present them to the GEMSTONE network!